Derbyshire County Council ‘direct attack’ against lowest earners

Derbyshire County Council is failing to pay the lowest paid workers across the county the Foundation Living Wage in a ‘direct attack’ the trade union GMB says.

From the 1st April, Derbyshire County Council has stated that it will no longer pay the Foundation Living Wage to employees earning less than £8.75 per hour.

Schools across the East Midlands county have also been told they will no longer be able to pay the Foundation Living Wage due to the mechanism for payments that is currently being used set to be removed.

The council also claims that two out of three schools will not want to continue paying their lowest paid workers when the council stops paying it.

Academy’s across the county, which aren’t apart of Derbyshire’s County Council payroll, will be able to make their own choices if the Foundation Living Wage will still be implemented at their academy schools.

A spokesperson from Derbyshire County Council said “At the moment our lowest hourly rate is £8.45 (which includes a living wage allowance), and the council will continue to pay the current amount until the national pay agreement for 2018/19 is agreed. When the national pay deal is agreed it is expected that the hourly rate will be a minimum of £8.50.

The spokesperson also mentioned about what this means for schools across the county.

“We will be talking to schools about what arrangements they want in place for their staff.”

GMB orgainser of Chesterfield Jon Smith explains the Conservative councils first big decision and how this is move is a ‘direct attack’ to the lowest paid staff.

“It’s the first big act that the Tory led council has made and its not a good one because it directly attacks the lowest paid staff”.

“Where we’ve had the Foundation Living Wage put in for a number of years now, the first act that they’ve used, whilst they’ve been elected, is to put a stop to it.”

“You still go onto Derbyshire County Council’s website and they are still pedaling that they are a great employer who pay the Foundation Living Wage and they can’t force schools into doing it but they want to support the schools in doing”.

Asked why the council hasn’t targeted higher earners, Smith replied: “I think potentially there will be more people that that affects. Across the council, generally people in schools and in the front line services are the lowest paid in society which is a disgrace in itself”.

“There’s a fundamental issue but also a moral issue, which [is] the GMB’s problem with it”.

Smith did add that the GMB trade union will keep fighting this case for its members.

“We’ll keep fighting for our members that they introduce the foundation Living Wage and they don’t forget why [the] Foudation Living Wage is in there in the first place. We will keep the campaign going and keep the pressure on the politicians as it’s the politicians that have made this decision”.

 

Jack Williams

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